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Is Amazon Finally Entering Web3?
Apple Blocks NFT Transfers | Crypto’s iPhone Moment | eCommerce Giant Takes Aim at NFTs
GM web3 explorers!
It’s time for another edition of the Weekly Rollup, the only crypto newsletter guaranteed to spice up your Saturdays with the latest web3 flavors.
In this week’s episode, we’ve got:
Apple flexing their muscle against Coinbase 💪
Ledger’s hardware wallet got a serious upgrade 🚀
Are Amazon and NFTs a match made in heaven? 🤩
NFT of the Month. Hint: it’s from one of the strongest communities in web3 💎
Let’s dive in.
🤝 Together With Lens: The Evolution of Social Networking 👀
🟣 WEB3 MOBILE TAKES A HIT
Apple Blocks NFT Transfers In Coinbase App
In one of the biggest stories of this week, Apple blocked Coinbase Wallet’s latest app update because they want their “share” of Ethereum’s gas fees.
That’s right. They want their standard 30% take rate to apply to not only in-app purchases but gas fees as well.
In their announcement, Coinbase Wallet said, “For anyone who understands how NFTs and blockchains work, this is clearly not possible. Apple’s proprietary In-App Purchase system does not support crypto so we couldn’t comply even if we tried.”
It’s almost like Apple wanting to tack on a fee every time you pay your electricity bill through an iOS app.
And it leaves us at an interesting inflection point.
What happens with mobile-first applications like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter who all plan to integrate NFTs into their platforms to varying degrees? Do they put their plans on hold?
It’s tough to say what’s going to happen as this news came out last week but there still hasn’t been a response from Apple.
Sure, people can still do everything on these platforms through a browser, but it just doesn’t provide as good of a user experience—and mobile is the most popular access point to these apps.
Our overall opinion is that we don’t think the people at Apple are stupid. They may be playing stupid, but they’re probably trying to put pressure on companies so they have leverage during negotiations.
Either way, Solana’s mobile is looking like a nice buy at the moment. 👀
🟣 HARDWARE WALLET MAKEOVER
Ledger Launches New Ledger Stax
Ledger recently announced its new hardware wallet—Ledger Stax—and damn does it look good!
It’s a serious upgrade compared to what’s come before and that’s why we’re likening it to when the iPhone was first released. And when you know that Tony Fadell (the Apple iPod designer) also designed the Ledger Stax, you can see why its design is unreal.
Its sleek design features a compact touch screen that allows you to interact with your tokens in a simple interface—all while being a fraction of the size of a mobile.
Plus, you don’t even have to plug it into your laptop. Instead, it’s fully wireless and works through Bluetooth.
In a web3 future, it’s easy to imagine that the Ledger Stax replace our traditional wallets—especially when our credentials are all on-chain.
But when Kyle looks at the tweet above, it makes him think about whether the Stax (or a subsequent model) could even replace a mobile phone.
He personally doesn’t use his iPhone for many things other than using apps, texting, or accessing ID and financial information. So if he has a touchscreen Ledger with a built-in browser he can interact with all the web3 applications, for example, Lens Protocol.
Could this be a future solution to Apple’s centralization?
It’s tough to say because, on one hand, Ledger now has both Tony Fadell and Ian Rogers (the creator of Apple Music) on board. So it seems like Ledger could be moving towards releasing their own mobile phone—in fact, this is Kyle’s prediction for 2023.
But on the other hand, it will take a serious effort to catch up the Apple and Google. We’d needs devs to re-create all the popular apps currently on these operating systems to ensure they fit within the web3 ecosystem.
Whatever happens, we’re one step closer to an enjoyable web3 UX.
Thread of the Week
🟣 THE JUNGLE IS COMING TO WEB3
Amazon’s NFT Marketplace Rumors
It all started on Ledger’s podcast (hosted by Ian Rogers) with Kevin Rose (PROOF co-founder and CEO).
I’ll preface this by saying Ian and Kevin are both extremely respected inside and outside of web3, so they have nothing to gain by spreading false rumors. And according to their network, Amazon is cooking up an NFT marketplace.
We don’t know any specifics about how the marketplace will function, but what we do know is that this is MASSIVE and it also makes a lot of sense.
In the future, we believe that everything will be tokenized. Not for speculation like most NFTs are now, but because they make transactions better for buyers and sellers.
It’s simply a more efficient way of doing commerce that doesn’t require third parties.
For example, any time you buy something on the internet it requires you to use a payment facilitator like PayPal, or Stripe. So not only do organizations require these payment companies to allow and enable that purchase to happen, but they also take a sizeable cut of the transaction.
Instead, NFT-linked products provide smoother transaction rails. They provide instant settlement, global censorship-free payments, cheaper transactions, and allow businesses to learn about their customers without collecting sensitive information.
Think of NFTs simply as a means of commerce and what’s the biggest commerce marketplace in the world? Amazon.
Our guess is that they see this as a new way of purchasing products online and want to be the main marketplace for NFT-linked physical products—something that most marketplaces don’t see yet.
If Amazon does in fact go through with its marketplace, we may see a similar outcome to what happened with Reddit’s NFT collection.
Chances are the giga brains at Amazon will focus on their primary audience, web2-natives. With this approach, we won’t see words like NFT or blockchain. Instead, they’ll use terminology that’s appropriate for their audience—for example, calling an NFT a “digital receipt”.
🤝 Together with Unlock Protocol: Create Memberships and Subscription NFTs in Minutes! ⚡
🟣 NFT OF THE MONTH
Zen Academy: Bringing Classic Virtues to Web3
In this NFT of the Month face-off, we had Valhalla, Space Runners, Zen Academy, and Psychedelics Anonymous.
And the winner with 57.9% of the votes is…
Zen Academy! Congratulations to Zeneca and the team. 🎉
Now, the reason Zen Academy were nominated this month is that they’ve been up to something fascinating.
For some background, they first launched about a year ago with two NFT drops, a 10k token collection that acts as membership to their community, and a 333 token collection that gives holders access to the Founders Club—essentially a way to get access to Zeneca’s (the founder’s) time.
When they first launched their focus was purely on the utility and they paid no attention to the art. At the time, this was a breath of fresh air because most collections focused on the opposite—monkey pictures.
So, in the beginning, they didn’t work with an artist and they didn’t have a PFP, they just wanted to get the collection to market. The result was the NFT image being a simple piece of paper that explained the NFT’s utility.
Once the “art” was ready they ended up launching these tokens as ERC-1155s, meaning that they’re semi-fungible.
But the problem with this move is that the token standard doesn’t show up on marketplace leaderboards. On top of this, PFPs have been extremely popular over the last year because of their connection to peoples’ identities.
So here’s ZenAcademy, a leading collection that’s not getting the credit they deserve or giving its holders an opportunity to flex their community.
To fix this, they recently created a new PFP collection where current ZenAcademy holders can burn their NFTs in exchange for a new token standard—likely an ERC 721a, but you can check out the smart contract if you want to be sure.
One thing to learn from this pivot is that Zen Academy didn’t focus on knowing what the right smart contract code and token standards were in the beginning. Instead, they got to building and now a year later, they figured out that there’s a better token standard for their collection and business.
They’ve also turned it into a big event called The Summoning which is generating tons of exposure for them on Crypto Twitter.
So take a leaf out of Zeneca’s book: build your community now with the tools at your disposal and pivot when something better comes along.
Communities stay through thick and thin, but tech is everchanging.
🟣 NUMBERS TO KNOW
That’s the amount of money NFT creators earned this year, according to OpenSea. Source
That’s how much it costs to buy a new TIMEX watch with a Bored Ape printed on it. Source
That is the amount that Animoca plans to allocate toward Metaverse companies. Source
🟣 AROUND WEB3
Other Web3 News
Stripe launches an on-page widget that exchanges fiat for crypto. Source
Opera Browser partnered with Alteon LaunchPad to let beginners in web3 easily mint NFTs straight in the browser. Source
OpenSea updates its ‘categories’ section by adding Gaming, Membership, PFP, and Sports Collectibles. This all takes the UX to another level. Source
MoonPay is rolling out what it calls a ‘Web3 Passport’ loyalty program in the form of a Soulbound NFT early next year. This will grant its owner access to exclusive events related to ticketing for fashion, art, sports, music, and entertainment. Source
Rainbow launched a browser extension. Source
Professional soccer league La Liga plans to tokenize game balls to track goal-scoring footballs. Source
Scottie Pippen to release digital sneaker NFT collection. Source
Toys ‘R’ Us Partners with Anybodies to launch web3 experiences for fans. Source
Mariah Carey’s holiday metaverse promotion includes a virtual store. Source
Magic Eden launches protocol to enforce creator royalties. Source
Warner Music Group to release Polygon music NFTs through the LGND platform. Source
Firefox dev Mozilla goes all-in on the metaverse and acquires Active Replica. Source
Steve Aoki and 3LAU form CryptoPunks supergroup. Source
Former CFTC Commissioner Brian Quintenz has accepted the full-time position as the Head of Policy at crypto VC giant a16z. Source
🟣 FOR THE DOERS
Think NFTs will eat the world? Learn How Dynamic NFTs Provide a Canvas for Real-world Utility.
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